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REVIEW “Dagon” (2001, movie)

dagon    Director:  Stuart Gordon    Writer: Dennis Paoli

“What happen with all people in this town?”

                                             “They’re changing. Changing to go into the sea.”

After a boating accident, the couple Paul and Barbara, seek for help in Inboca, a decrepit Spanish fishing village. As they delve deeper in the heart of the town and its half human habitants, they discover an ancient and fearful form of evil, lurking beneath them, in the deep ocean.

Dagon window

This is director Stuart Gordon’s third Lovecraft related film, Re-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986). All were also co-produced by Brian Yuzna and co-written by Dennis Paoli.
This is one of the best Lovecraft adaptations, and it nails almost all of his main themes: the fear of sea life, foreigners, alien cultures, religion and the worship of ancient sea gods, all of this with a special dose of dark humour, which, surprisingly, works pretty well. On the other hand, there are some liberties that would never be a part os his universe, most notably the local female seductress, nudity and a few scenes of graphic violence. This story is loosely based in “The Shadow over Innsmouth” rather than “Dagon”. The name of the village “Inboca” is the Spanish direct translation for “Innsmouth”.

Dagon stalked

One of the best aspects of this film is the oppressive and claustrophobic atmosphere. From the decaying houses to the untrustworthy creepy villagers it all contributes to a sense of unease. Nevertheless, this is a B-movie with a microscopic budget, and you can notice it in the cheap CGI effects, the make-up on the other hand is very well done. The scrip isn’t the greatest with some weak lines, but the acting is pretty solid. In terms of quality this film is somehow unbalanced, but entertaining from beginning to end.

This is not a perfect film in any way, but a very good attempt to translate H. P. Lovecraft vision to the silver screen and a good unpretentious B-Movie. Definitely worth checking out even if you never heard the name Cthulhu.

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